Rhoda Taylor was a founding member of the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta (ATAA), an organization that offers programs and services that promote arts touring, and provides networking opportunities and professional development for artists and arts presenters. Ms. Taylor passed away in 1997 and since 1999 the ATTA has presented an annual award, in her name, to an individual who has made a significant contribution to arts touring in our province. The 2012 Rhoda Taylor Award was presented to Spruce Grove’s own Director of Cultural Services, Lawrie Seligman, on Friday, October 12.
Lawrie has had an active and varied career in the field of the performing arts. As a stage director, he has worked at theatres in Edmonton and across Canada including the Citadel, the Mayfield Dinner Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Stratford Festival and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He has produced radio arts at CBC Edmonton and television arts and drama at CBC Calgary. After graduating from the Arts Administration course at Grant MacEwan, Lawrie worked for three years as Artistic Director of Sunshine Theatre in Kelowna, before coming to Spruce Grove in 2000.
Under Lawrie’s capable guidance and leadership the City of Spruce Grove has built a solid cultural foundation both within its boundaries and the surrounding areas. A man with vision, Lawrie spearheaded the journey that took Horizon Stage from being a small, isolated theatre to a significant regional presenter in the Edmonton-area performing arts scene.
The quality of entertainers that pass through the doors of Horizon Stage is second to none, and artists and audiences truly appreciate the “Up Close and Personal” experience. Lawrie’s commitment to presenting a variety of genres to promote cultural diversity at Horizon Stage is a part of why he is so highly regarded and respected. His vast knowledge of the arts, and his willingness to share and mentor, has fellow presenters from Morinville to Leduc and Fort Saskatchewan singing his praises. To say that he is loved, respected, and greatly appreciated by all those who work with him is an understatement. Many members of the City’s Cultural Services team and Horizon Stage volunteers were thrilled to be on hand to see him receive this award.